Predicting who makes St. Louis Cardinals Opening Day as Spring Training begins

Which brave and talented men will lead the Cardinals to victory next year?

St. Louis Cardinals v Miami Marlins
St. Louis Cardinals v Miami Marlins / Sam Navarro/GettyImages
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In an offseason in which the St. Louis Cardinals acquired 13 new players, one would assume that there are plenty of opportunities for competition on the roster. Quite the opposite is true in fact. Through these acquisitions, the team has gained clarity on which players will fill out the Cardinals' illustrious 26-man roster.

The vast majority of these spots are pre-determined and guaranteed. In fact, only the bullpen and final bench spot are truly up for grabs, and even those are virtually penciled in already. John Mozeliak added starting pitchers, cleared up logjams, and beefed up a bullpen that was desperate for some high-leverage assistance.

I will attempt (probably unsuccessfully) to predict the team's Opening Day 26-man roster for the 2024 season. Once again, most of these spots are set in stone, but those final few spots are where I'll add my personal opinion. Redbird Rants' own Josh Jacobs tackled this task back in late December, but a handful of additions have been made since then, so I'll take those into account.

Rotation (5) -- Sonny Gray, Miles Mikolas, Kyle Gibson, Lance Lynn, and Steven Matz

Let's start with the most surefire position: the starting pitchers. After signing Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson, and Sonny Gray all before the calendar was flipped to December, Mo completed the rotation very quickly this offseason.

Sonny Gray is the presumptive ace, and deservedly so. Behind him, we are likely to see some configuration of Miles Mikolas, Kyle Gibson, Lance Lynn, and Steven Matz. In my opinion (and site editor Josh Jacobs's opinion), Steven Matz has the highest ceiling out of these four. Mikolas, Gibson, and Lynn are locks to pitch greater than 170 innings, and if Mikolas can return to his pre-2023 form, St. Louis's rotation may not be so bad after all.

Zach Thompson, Matthew Liberatore, Drew Rom, Gordon Graceffo, Michael McGreevy, Sem Robberse, and Adam Kloffenstein will be ready to go in the minors, so the depth is clearly there in the rotation. This group doesn't have a very high ceiling, but their floor is quite stable, moreso than last year at least.


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